Racing

Doug O'Neill

Born: May 24, 1968, Dearborn, Mich.

Web site: www.dougoneillracing.com

  •  Doug O’Neill has won five Breeders’ Cup races from 39 starts, including the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with Nyquist and the 2013 Dirt Mile Goldencents ... His other three winners were Stevie Wonderboy in the 2005 Juvenile, Thor’s Echo in the ’06 Sprint and Maryfield in the inaugural Filly & Mare Sprint in ’07 ... All three won Eclipse Awards in their divisions. 
  • After capping his perfect 5-for-5 record in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and earning the Eclipse Award as champion juvenile, Reddam Racing's Nyquist kicked off 2016 in the same winning style. He won the San Vincente Stakes (G2) and the Florida Derby (G1) before giving his connections their second Kentucky Derby (G1) victory in four years.  
  • Among his best runners in 2017 has been Irap, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes, Ohio Derby and Indiana Derby. Irap also finished third in the Travers Stakes and was most recently second in the Pennsylvania Derby, but unfortunately suffered a career ending injury in the gallop out of that race. He has also won stakes this year with Denman’s Call (Grade 1 Triple Bend), Iliad (San Vincente Stakes), Pavel (Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx) and Shane’s Girlfriend (Iowa Oaks). 
  • Was on the wildest ride of his career in the spring of 2012 when he saddled I’ll Have Another to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. However, as often happens, despair followed as the 3-year -old colt suffered tendinitis and was pulled from the Belmont Stakes, ending his quest for the Triple Crown. Later, owner J. Paul Reddam sold the dual classic winner to Japanese interests for $10 million. 
  • O’Neill recorded the 2,000th victory of his career when Formally Wild won the second race at Del Mar Nov. 22, 2015. 
  • Won back-to-back runnings of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) with Goldencents in 2013 and I’ll Have Another in 2012.
  •  Associated with one of the greatest claim stories in racing history with Lava Man. Claimed for $50,000 at Del Mar in Aug. 2004, the gelding was retired in Aug. 2008 with earnings of $5,268,706, more than $5-million since the claim by S T D Racing and Jason Wood. In 2006, Lava Man swept Southern California’s top three races for older horses – the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Del Mar’s Pacific Classic – the first time any horse won all three races in the same year. (Game On Dude became the second horse to accomplish the feat in 2013.) Lava Man’s third successive Hollywood Gold Cup in 2007 put him in the record books with the legendary Native Diver as the only other horse to accomplish the feat. With the Gold Cup win over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track, Lava Man became the first horse in history to win a G1 race over three different surfaces ... Lava Man now serves as a stable pony for O’Neill, and foreman Sabas Rivera most often rides him.
  • Won his 1,000th North American race when No Means Maybe captured the Bustles and Bows at Fairplex Park Sept. 13, 2007 ... O’Neill’s first stakes win was Tanks Forthemusic in the 1996 CTBA Marian Stakes at Fairplex Park.
  • First major stakes winner was Classy Cara, winner of the 2000 Fantasy Stakes and Honeymoon Handicap ... Won his first Grade 1 race when Sky Jack scored in the 2002 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) ... Won the 2003 Japan Cup Dirt with 48-1 longshot Fleetstreet Dancer, a $40,000 claim by O’Neill in 2002.
  • Named California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Trainer of the Year in 2002 and 2006.
  • Considers his operation a team effort, his stable often called Team O’Neill. In addition to his brother, Dennis, who is not only his major assistant but buys most of the horses at sales, Leandro Moro and Jack Sisterson also are assistant trainers.
  • Began working at the track in 1986, right out of high school, and learned under Jude Feld, Hector Palma and Doug Peterson before taking out his license in 1994.